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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology About Us

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is a preferred academic hub for students, stakeholders, and the community to come together to address pressing questions about crime and criminal justice. We promote justice, equity, and community well-being by engaging stakeholders in policy relevant research that enhances justice at the local, state, and national levels, and by providing students with skills and opportunities that will prepare them to work effectively in their careers as practitioners and researchers.

Criminal Justice is comprised of a set of policies, recognized within the institutions of courts, corrections, and policing, that promotes and seeks to uphold control, order, and justice. Criminal Justice students are required to take courses in criminal justice, public policy, public administration, sociology, research methods, and statistics. The Criminal Justice and Criminology Program strives to produce graduates who understand crime and criminal justice policy, while learning to embody the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards in both their work and career fields.

Here at Washington State University, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology blends both theory and practice, affording students with the opportunity to learn from leaders within the criminal justice field, whilst developing their own scholarship. While our undergraduate curriculum provides students a solid grounding in the field of criminal justice, our graduate curriculum builds on this and challenges students to develop a deeper understanding, fostering their skills as scholars.

Faculty Addressing Real-World Problems

Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for scholarship with a focus on problem-driven research that confronts both traditional and emerging challenges in the U.S. and throughout the world. Faculty members routinely lend their expertise to a broad range of local, state, national and international government agencies and nongovernmental groups. This involvement on the ‘practitioner-side’ of policy serves to enrich both faculty research and teaching.

Hands-On Teaching and Learning

Our award-winning faculty place great emphasis upon providing exceptional undergraduate and graduate programming, with a unique emphasis on research collaboration at the graduate level. These hands-on teaching strategies reflect the problem-driven approach to research and instruction emphasized by our faculty and their ability to bring real-world perspective to students in the classroom.

When it comes to understanding the global aspects of criminal justice, a hands-on approach to teaching means studying abroad. Each year, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a short-term, spring break, faculty-led study abroad program with a specific focus on criminal justice. Destinations vary, and small groups of students have thus far visited criminal justice agencies in London, and in Amsterdam and The Hague. This unique experience takes place within a semester-long course fulfilling a wide range of possible requirements. For more information, inquire with Sisouvanh Keopanapay.

A Proud History

The department is the oldest in the United States. It was established in 1943 as the Department of Police Science by V.A. Leonard. Dr. Leonard founded Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, and was one of the founding members of the organization that later became the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

The department’s name was changed in 1975 to the Department of Criminal Justice. The criminal justice department merged with the Department of Political Science in 1982 (becoming the Criminal Justice Program), and was granted autonomous department status in 2011 as the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Contact Us

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Washington State University
Wilson-Short, 111
P.O. Box 644011
Pullman, WA 99164-4011

Dr. Melanie-Angela Neuilly, Room 112, Wilson-Short.                Ph: 509-335-5465

Graduate Director
Dr. Dale Willits, Room 112A, Wilson-Short. Ph: 509-335-8320

Administrative Manager
DeeDee Torgeson, Room 111B, Wilson-Short. Ph: 509-335-4249

Graduate Program Coordinator
Danielle Makin, Room 111A, Wilson-Short. Ph: 509-335-8611 

Undergraduate Academic Advisors
Rebecca Auliye, Room 104B, Wilson-Short. Ph: 509-335-5467. Students whose last name begins with letters: A — O.

Sisouvanh (Sis) Keopanapay, Room 104A, Wilson-Short. Ph: 509-335-1204. Students whose last name begins with letters: P — Z; Students who have questions about internship credits.